Autos & Energy Conservation: In a move that is sure to prompt similar action from other high-end automakers, Bentley Motors announced that it is aligning its cars to higher ecological standards. On a well-to-wheel basis, the entire Bentley model range will be capable of delivering less than 120 g/km of carbon dioxide by 2012, according to Bentley's chief executive Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen. All Bentley models will have a flex-fuel engine under the hood by 2012.
Flex-fuel systems enable vehicles to run on any mix of gasoline and ethanol. A sensor analyzes the blending ratio of the fuels and adjusts accordingly. Engines capable of using renewable fuels will be available in 2009. Renewable fuels, which also are called biofuels, are fuels synthetically produced from organic material, such as bio-ethanol and synthetic diesel. Overall emissions are expected to decline by 15 percent. A new power train also is being developed that will reduce fuel consumption by 40 percent while maintaining the vehicles' current performance capabilities.
Dr. Paefgen said, "This is a major step in the history of Bentley, reflecting the increasing expectation from our customers around the world for performance motoring with fuel efficient engines. We will set a benchmark in our segment of the industry by making every engine capable of running on renewable fuels, reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency throughout our fleet."
Since second-generation biofuels are made from agriculture residue and waste materials, the alternative-fuel source does not vie with agricultural output reserved for food production. Second-generation biofuels deliver a massive reduction in total carbon-dioxide emissions. The latest biofuels also deliver much higher yields than the first-generation sources. Additionally, new production methods are evolving for third-generation biofuels, which are made from genetically modified microorganisms or intensively farmed algae.
Paefgen reiterated Bentley Motor's commitment to the environment in a speech made at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. He also announced a newly formed partnership with Naim Audio.
Other 'Green' Issues
Bentley set a new sales record in 2007 with sales of more than 10,000 automobiles. It is a substantial increase, as the Volkswagen subsidiary sold less than 1,000 units only five years ago. The successful launch of the Bentley Brooklands, continued growth in traditional markets, and emerging markets, such as China, are major factors contributing to the unprecedented growth rate.
Read about the A-B-Cs of the 2008 Bentley and other environmentally sound cars in the Autos & Vehicles of JustLuxe.
For LxM James Rothaar
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